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Best use of $1000 ?

Started by cth3, 12/11/2004 10:15AM
Posted 12/11/2004 10:15AM Opening Post
My wife bought me a 60mm refractor last Christmas, my first telescope, and I am ready to move on. I originally considered one of the 5" goto catadioptrics, but after reading some of the posts here I realize I'll be paying for a lot of elctronics and less optics. So now I am expanding my search. I'm fortunate enough to be able to spend $1000 to $1500 on my next telescope. So, my question is: What should I consider in that price range for a mixture of planetary and DSO observing. Photography is not an issue for me. It needs to be easily transportable. I already have a great pair of binoculars. Any suggestions, company and model, would be greatly appreciated.
Posted 12/11/2004 12:48PM #1
Decisions, decisions...I and others understand. You mentioned 'goto' electronics and 'portability' in your post. Start by making your decsion about those two topics. 'GOTO' - If your are already familar with finding objects, (i.e. star-hopping) then I would forget the 'goto' and purchase a good sky atlas and/or planisphere. 'Portability' - To me that issue involves size, weight and the number of pieces of equipment to haul around. A topic I won't go into detail about other than to say, the more you want your scope to do the work the more 'stuff' you will have to haul around.
My best advice is to look for a newtonian scope on a dobsonian mount, aka a 'Dob'. These scopes offer the most optical bang for the buck, IMO. Dobs in the 8"-10" are fairly easy to transport, tube lengths are under 5' in length and weigh around 50 lbs with the mount. The best part is the cost, well under a $1000.00 which you plenty for eyepieces and accesories!
As far as manufacturers, there are many. Orion telscopes , Discovery, Hardin Optical, Meade, Celestron all come to mind. As far as I know only Orion offers a Dob with Digital Setting Circles (DSC) installed although I belive any Dob can be retro fitted with them.
Charles
Posted 12/12/2004 02:13PM #2
I am amazed at the volume of thoughtful, well considered and specific responses to my post. Thank you all very much, this is much more information than I was anticipating. I will be taking another look at 8", plus or minus, dobs and eyepieces. I was unfamiliar with several of the manufacturers mentioned. This, plus the most recent issue of Night Sky which has a nice article on eyepieces, should get me going. Thanks again!